Money in the Bank: The PPV where wrestlers compete to see who can climb a ladder the slowest!
First-Ever, Women’s Money in the Bank
Charlotte vs Becky vs Tamina vs Carmella vs Natalya
The women were obviously fired up to make history.
Tamina takes control early, brutally using the ladder to clear the ring. Becky and Natalya unfortunately spend way too long playing tug of war with a ladder. Except it was less a tug-of-war, and more a polite argument.
Natalya gets close to the briefcase but Charlotte gets there in time to give her an electric chair drop.
Charlotte and Carmella battle atop the ladder until Tamina sends the ladder and them tumbling to the ropes.
Charlotte retaliates with a corkscrew flip off the top to the outside
WWE’s running joke of Ellsworth being a woman took form in the finish. As Becky climbed to the ladder, Ellsworth tipped it over. When he failed to to resuscitate Carmella, he climbed the ladder himself, releasing the Briefcase and tossing it to Carmella.
The refs argue, but Ellsworth announces Carmella is the first-ever winner of the match and the Production team plays her music.
The other women were not happy
Carmella is the first-ever Women’s Money in the Bank holder
The women delivered with risky spots and brutal ladder shots. The finish may be criticized but I thought it matched Carmella and Ellsworth’s character’s perfectly. The tug-of-war was a bit cheesy and there was some of the usual too-slow climbing, but it was a great start to a new chapter in MitB.
The Usos vs The New Day
This was a hard-hitting match with plenty of risky and violent-looking moments. Kofi took the most dangerous of the bumps, especially when an Uso pulled the ropes down, sending Kingston flying awkwardly to the outside
The New Days gain control, hitting the Midnight Hour and going for the pin, but the non-legal Uso pulls his pinned twin to the outside. They decide they’ve had enough, grab their belts and leave, taking the count-out loss.
The New Day wins via Count-out, Usos retain the belts
I hope this feud continues as the two teams have great chemistry on the mic and in the ring. They gave the MitB matches a run for their money in terms of dangerous spots, as I didn’t envy an Uso taking a heavy Big E splash onto the apron. The count-out was a let-down, as I would have preferred a more violent disqualification to suit the tone of the match and the aggressive Uso behavior of the past few weeks.
Naomi (Champion) vs Lana
WWE breaks tradition (again) and has the champion come out first. Perhaps showing that Lana will be getting a push?
Seeing the tiny blonde Lana dressed provocatively is a bit shocking since we’ve come so far from the Divas division. She’s a mixed bag in the ring. Many of her moves look fine, especially her snap suplex into the ropes. It’s the fundamentals that are lacking. The in between moments after delivering or getting hit with a move are a bit stiff and unnatural. There’s definitely a ton of effort and you can tell she’s come a long way. For someone so new to the business, it’s actually remarkable she isn’t half bad on the biggest wrestling stage in the world.
Lana hits her finisher and Naomi kicks out, but…
Carmella’s music hits
Carmella comes down and almost hands her briefcase to the official, but thinks twice.
Naomi reverses a second Lana finisher into a submission and retains the title. Carmella teases a cash-in again, but skips off to the back instead.
Naomi retains via submission
Naomi had her work cut out for her, working with the inexperienced Lana and following the flat count-out. Lana has a lot of potential and pulled of many big moves with authenticity. If she can shore up her fundamentals, she could have a decent career. I have a feeling Vince prefers her more Diva look, and judging by the storyline, she could stick around the main event picture. Hopefully she watches this match, and tones down the shrieking.
Fashion Files – Miami Vice Edition
Breezango take their sketch series to the next level, nailing the ’80s aethestic, even switching the aspect ratio to an old-school 4:3. Clad in white blazers and aviators, they talk on gigantic cell phones (labelled property of Paul E. Dangerously) before a fax machine’s loud dial-up modem scares Breeze. Fandango reads the message upside down, declaring it ‘foreign’.
They receive a VHS tape and play a creepy video of two mysterious speakers shrouded in darkness with digitally disguised voices. The mysterious duo declare they had trashed Breezango’s office and attacked Breeze, challenging them to a match tonight!
Funny as ever, these guys are proving their worth to the company and it’s translating to confidence in the ring.
St. Louis Legends
WWE may be going through a controversial period regarding bullying, but their treatment of legends in the last several years has been outstanding. The presentation here is short, but respectful, giving each St.Louis legend a respectful intro from th ring announcer, and an opportunity for the local crowd to go crazy for them. Some of these wrestlers didn’t even wrestle in the WWF/WWE, but the big company has taken it upon themselves to honor previous NWA Champions after purchasing the WCW/NWA back in 2001.
It warmed my bitter heart to see the old-timers get a bit of recognition from the wrestle-crazy crowd. Flair is royalty, but it was great put Baron Von Raschke on the pedastal one more time.
Jinder Mahal (Champion) vs Randy Orton
Again, the Champion comes out first. I understand Orton is from St.Louis and his lengthy career dwarfs Mahal’s recent star turn, but I believe the Champ should always come out second whenever possible.
Orton can often be accused of going through the motions, but wrestling in front of his home crowd (and father) seems to have lit a fire under his speedo-covered ass.
JBL mentions Orton needs to watch his temper or get disqualified, possibly giving away the finish?
Mahal slaps on a figure-four as Ric Flair watches from his ring-side seat. Orton rolls over, which in wrestling lore, puts the pressure on the giver instead, and is one of the cringiest things to watch in a match.
The Singh Bros put Mahal’s foot on the rope and Orton begs hthe ref not to DQ Mahal, who instead tosses the Brothers to the backstage. But on their way out they go after Bob Orton, prompting Randy to make the save. Randy then stays outside the ring beating the hell out of the Singhs and the Announcer tables while the ref could have counted to one thousand.
Orton goes back into the ring but Mahal immediately gives him his finisher and gets the win.
Mahal retains, pinning a distracted Orton
Boring and predictable. There’s a reason the World Championship isn’t the main event. The highlight of this feud has been how close can Orton get to legitimately injuring the poor Singh Brothers as he flings them into tables.
Breezango vs The Acension
Unfortunately, the mystery team ended up being the lackluster Ascension. Fortunately, the match is quick and Breezango get the win.
Breeze takes a bit of a beating, Fandango gets the lukewarm tag, and after Breeze disrupts an Ascension double-team, Fandango rolls up one of them for the pin.
Breezango wins with a pin
The Ascension weren’t my first choice, but Breezango got the win and looked somewhat strong. This was a fun diversion nonetheless and I liked seeing an actual match come out of their skit.
Men’s Money in the Bank
Styles vs Ziggler vs Zayn vs Owens vs Corbin vs Nakamura
During Nakamura’s entrance, Corbin attacks him from behind and pummels him with a ladder. The refs rule Nakamura a non-competitor for the match. Since there are no DQs, Corbin is allowed to compete. So why not bring a gun and guarantee the win?
Usually these multi-wrestler matches see the ring cleared and two at a time taking turns in the ring. This time however, they do a much better of telling multiple stories at once (at least in the beginning). It feels more like a Royal Rumble, with temporary allegiances, and action happening all over.
Ziggler and Corbin team up to take out Styles but Corbin can’t be trusted. He eventually delivers a Deep Six to Ziggler from the apron to the outside floor.
Zayn does two dives to the outside by the halfway point, looking like he injured himself both times.
As expected, the men take many dangerous bumps through ladders.
- Owens gets power slammed by little Zayn off the top rope into a ladder, bending the ‘steel’.
- Styles gives an AA to Owens from the apron on to a ladder on the outside
- Zayn and Ziggler go punch for punch on opposite sides of the top of the ladder until Zayn performs a sunset-flip powerbomb.
The match reaches another ridiculous climax as Styles gets to the briefcase but a dastardly Ziggler moves the ladder, leaving Styles to cling to the briefcase for dear life.
Styles tries to remove the case but ends up plunging down to the ring.
Corbin is in position to win but…
Nakamura’s music hits
Nakamura dives underneath a flying ladder and his music cuts off just as the sing-a-long begins. The crowd fills fills in perfectly, soundtracking Nakamura’s comeback with their rendition of his music.
Eventually, Nakamura and Styles face-off on either side of the ladder, and the crowd goes nuts with anticipation.
They move the ladder to the side and pound each other’s faces until Nakamura gets control with a hold.
He lines up for the Kinchasa but Styles counters with a phenomenal forearm
Both reach the top of the ladder, trading blows while the fans duel, with chants of “AJ STYLES – NAKAMURA”.
Corbin takes advantage of the situation, pushing the ladder down, quickly climbing up and grabbing the briefcase for the win.
Corbin is the Men’s Money in the Bank holder
A fantastic match that showcased all of the incredible Smackdown main-event talent. Poor Zayn risked his neck and didn’t get too close to a win. Corbin is WWE’s golden boy and his victory was hardly a surprise. It remains to be seen how Smackdown will book their World and United States Championships. Will Mahal, Orton, Corbin, and possibly another fight for the big title in the mid-card while Styles and Nakamura fight for Owen’s US Title? It’s a tradition for the best workers to hold the secondary title and at least Smackdown has booked them in the appropriate spot on the card, but the optics still look bad.
Many might criticize Ellsworth’s involvement in the MitB match, but the crowd exploded for it, and it fit his underhanded, Carmella-worshipping personality perfectly (he also sounded great screaming into the microphone). Carmella has a great personality to hold the briefcase and provided plenty of motivation for the rest of the division to seek revenge. It also allows the top women to battle for the title, with the threat of mid-carder Carmella lurking around the corner.
The main event was a barn-burner and the undercard had enough great moments even without the top-end talent to pad the middle of the card. Corbin getting another high-profile gimmick win matches his Andre the Giant Battle Royal win last year. He’s been booked as a reckless bully lately, and the Briefcase will look good on him. Whether he’s ready for the title seemed to matter more before Mahal won the title. Now it’s confusing as to where the top of the card is.
Naomi and Lana was inconsistent and very disappointing to see Naomi kick out of Lana’s finisher. Orton and Mahal was as bland as ever, even with Orton’s slightly elevated interest level to look good in front of daddy.
The few low points were obliterated by the fantastic MitB matches book-ending the show.
An entertaining night that should push RAW to up their PPV game.